Bryce Young overcame adversity in 2021 to lead the Tide to the College Football Playoff. Alabama had the worst offensive line in years, but Young managed to climb muddy pockets and make plays. Even without two first-round receivers from the 2020 roster, Alabama football dominated in the regular season offensively.
Young grew in his first year as a starting quarterback, and he won the Heisman Trophy in the process. He was the first quarterback to win the award for Alabama, and he helped Alabama win the award in back-to-back years after DeVonta Smith won it last season.
After losing the National Championship, Young returns for his junior season with Alabama football. The Tide must replace two first-round talents at receiver for the third straight year, and the offensive line will be without potential first-overall pick Evan Neal.
Still, Young currently has the best odds to win the 2022 Heisman Trophy at +200 according to the top sportsbooks. He would be the first player since Archie Griffin to win the award twice. Will he find a way to repeat?
The Case For Bryce Young
Bryce Young will once again be the quarterback of one of the best teams in college football. That alone puts a player in the Heisman race. Alabama has had Heisman finalists almost every year in the past decade, and they’ve had three finalists in the past two years.
Young also has the talent to carry the Alabama offense. The offensive line will be without Evan Neal, but they’ve recruited talent at those positions. As long as the talent develops, they should improve upfront. They’ve also recruited Jahmyr Gibbs as a receiving back out of the Transfer Portal. The run game will be solid, but the passing attack will remain the focal point for the Crimson Tide.
Young has name recognition, and he will be the topic of discussion all season. Will he be the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft? How will he bounce back after a disappointing end to last season? All of these questions will be on the minds of Heisman voters. If he answers them adequately, it will correlate to a strong Heisman season.
The potential for Young to repeat is there. To be fair, the potential is almost always there for a returning Heisman winner. Will it translate to a repeat?
The Case Against Bryce Young
Young is a capable quarterback, but plenty of capable quarterbacks fail to win the Heisman Trophy even once. Trevor Lawrence failed to win the award a single time despite almost three full years as Clemson’s starter. Any quarterback with a hot season can win the award, and there will be plenty of those in 2022.
Spencer Rattler will look to live up to the hype as he transfers to South Carolina. Quinn Ewers will face off against Bryce Young when Texas hosts Alabama. C.J. Stroud will try to make it to the College Football Playoff after a solid first year as the starting quarterback. Wherever Caleb Williams goes, he should be a quality starting quarterback with Heisman potential.
This doesn’t even include the defensive players and skill guys who deserve recognition. Needless to say, the Heisman race should be tighter in 2022.
Even if Young is one of the best players in college football again, he will have to surpass his 2021 numbers if he wants to repeat. The Heisman voting system is flawed, and it takes more than a quality season to win the award.
So, Will Bryce Young Repeat?
Can Bryce Young repeat? Absolutely. Will he? The odds are stacked against him. Even if Alabama is the best team in college football once again, he will need better stats in 2022 to repeat.
That will be hard without his three starting receivers from 2021. Unless a younger receiver steps up next year, the Tide won’t be able to have the same passing attack.
If you’re asking me to take Bryce Young vs. the field, I’m taking the field. He should be the favorite, but there’s a reason no other returning Heisman winner repeated.
Tim Tebow failed to do it despite returning to the National Championship. Johnny Manziel failed to do it with Texas A&M despite being the focal point of college football. Jameis Winston failed to win it again because of scandals, and Lamar Jackson couldn’t win it in his final year with Louisville.
That’s why I don’t see him winning it again. The odds are just stacked against him. He’s good enough to win it, but there are too many formidable candidates to go with him to repeat for your Heisman pick.